Archive for August, 2011
Warren Buffett and O.J. Simpson Have Something in Common

Warren Buffett has made his view that the rich should pay more in taxes well-known. But Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is currently disputing more than $1 billion in taxes with the IRS. Two stories on the issue can be found here and here. You’d think that someone who says other rich people should pay more...
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George Selgin’s Good Money Now in Paperback

The Independent Institute is delighted to announce the publication of the paperback edition of George Selgin’s Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage, 1775–1821, winner of the 2009 Bronze Medal IPPY Award. It has long been maintained that governments alone are fit to coin money, but the...
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Obama Administration Likely to Attempt to Delay Supreme Court Consideration of Health Care Law

FoxNews.com has a good article on the likely legal strategy of the administration on the individual mandate. With the President facing a difficult reelection battle, he is expected to use all possible legal maneuvers to keep this issue out of the Supreme Court for fear that an adverse decision will further damage his reputation....
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Anarchy in the UK?

All political labels are limited in their usefulness, and confusion abounds regarding most of them. When a certain political persuasion is being criminalized, it is particularly important to examine the principles involved. If anarchy means chaos, disorder, lawlessness, reckless disregard for person and property, then the London vandals who set private buildings on fire...
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“Tax Expenditures”: Old Vinegar Rebottled

The late management guru Peter Drucker noted decades ago that the notion of tax “loopholes” implies that government is the primary claimant to the entirety of its citizens’ income. The government’s claim is rendered less than absolute in practice only by glitches (intended or otherwise) in the tax code. Enter now, stage left, the...
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Government Stimulus: Polishing the Rotten Apples

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there was a country famous for its apples. In fact, it produced nothing but apples and so was called Appleonia. The people ate many apples in many different ways: raw apples, baked apples, apple pies, apple fritters, and candied apples, to name just a...
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Bolivia’s San Pedro Prison: A Model for Reform?

Prison life isn’t known for exemplifying social harmony—far from it. A life of internment seems to better fit philosopher Thomas Hobbes’s description of human existence before government, in the mythic state of nature: nasty, brutish, and short. But San Pedro Prison in La Paz, Bolivia, is an anomaly—a fascinating experiment that shows how, even...
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As Government Revenues Fall, Asset Seizures Double

  I inadvertently badly scared my stepson when, as a little boy, he asked me if I had ever broken the law and I responded that there are so many laws that I was sure I broke one every day. Since 9/11, of course, this “overcriminalization of American life” has only exploded, and I...
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How Government Decides Who Is Qualified

An Air Force sergeant has been discharged for being a vocal “birther,” someone denying that the president was born in the United States. Meanwhile, three ATF agents involved in “Operation Fast and Furious,” a highly controversial plan to permit illegal gun sales that end up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, have new...
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Inserting the Constitution into the Budget Debate

In recent weeks, Americans have been debating issues related to the national debt and current budget. One camp calls for higher taxes while the other urges spending cuts (or at least a reduction in the rate of growth). What’s been missing from the debate is any conversation about the appropriate powers of the national...
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